The United States ambassador to NATO said on Tuesday (February 15) that it was assessing Russian claims that some of its troops were returning to base after exercises near Ukraine.
Russia has not said how many units were being withdrawn, and how far, after a build-up of some 130,000 Russian troops to the north, east and south of Ukraine that has triggered one of the worst crises in relations with the West since the Cold War.
“I think de-escalation is exactly that and that means moving those troops, moving your force posture away from Ukraine’s border,” ambassador Julianne Smith told a news conference before a two-day meeting of alliance defence ministers in Brussels.
“We’ll assess the situation. We will work to try and verify and go from there,” she added.
(Production: Johnny Cotton)